As people are becoming more and more aware of the types of scams out there, scammers are having to create new ones, to replace the old ones. We are all aware of Phising but have you heard about Vishing, Spoofing, Twishing and Smishing ?

Neither had we, but these are just some of the digital-age scams financial investigations unit’s all over the country are looking at. Here are some of the scams to look out for.

First there was Phishing, where fraudsters send out spoof emails in an attempt to steal personal information, such as passwords and banks details. This is still around, but not as common now, as people are more aware of them and largely discard these types of emails.

Smishing is a technique which has caught many people up in financial difficulties. A fraudster will send a false text message, pretending to be from a bank claiming you need to contact them immediately. They will try and gain access to your bank account and steal funds.

Vishing is voice activated or telephone fraud. Vishing attacks are designed to generate fear and immediate response, and therefore occur within short time frames. They are difficult to trace. For example, a vishing perpetrator (visher) may gain access to a group of private customer phone numbers. The visher may then call the group. When a potential victim answers the phone, he or she hears an automated recording, informing them that their bank account has been compromised. The victim then calls the specified number to reset their security settings and hears another automated message, requesting the user’s bank account number and/or other personal details via the phone keypad.

Twishing is fraud using Twitter, usually to gain personal information such as passwords by pretending to be someone you would usually be able to trust. The concept behind the term phishing to Twitter users with the hopes that while most will ignore the bait, a small percentage will be tricked into revealing their user names and passwords.

Spoofing is the technique of taking over real and trusted telephone numbers to prove the apparent legitimacy of the caller. This can be for many reasons. Companies have been caught doing this in the past for telemarketing purposes for example. However, it is increasingly being used for fraudulent reasons, often to obtain people’s personal information and gain access to their money. So never give your information to anyone over the phone that you don’t trust or don’t know. And remember, a bank would never ask you for your personal account passwords.

If you suspect you have been targeted by fraudsters, contact Action Fraud here:

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